Narvik, a small town in Northern Norway, recently hosted the world premiere of the new Netflix film, also titled Narvik, which tells the story of Hitler's first defeat in the Second World War. The event was free and held in a large outdoor cinema created in the town square. What made this production unique and unprecedented was the use of a Martin Audio Wavefront Precision line array deployment in 5.1 surround, which authentically captured the battle's realism and sound effects.
The event production company All-In contacted Audiolight in Harstad, which in turn reached out to Martin Audio's Norwegian distributor, Øystein Wierli, to act as a consultant.
Wierli and his team faced two main challenges: Firstly, it was the first time an outdoor cinema of this format had been attempted, and secondly, the premiere was scheduled for mid-December when temperatures in the Arctic Circle can drop to below -20°C, with snowfalls of up to a metre a day.
Despite the challenges, the premiere went ahead on December 11, 2022, after being postponed twice due to the pandemic and ethical questions posed by the war in Ukraine.
A total of 36 WPC elements and 18 SXH218 subwoofers were deployed in a 5.1 configuration, powered by 16 iKON iK42 multi-channel DSP amplifiers, to achieve a massive soundscape that matched the actual scenes and sounds from 1940.
"We don't think anyone around the centre of Narvik would have missed the explosions and other hard-hitting sound effects,” said Wierli.
Despite the cold, those who attended had the opportunity to witness a historical event on the exact same ground where history had taken place over 80 years earlier. In addition to the premiere, a family-friendly film and kids' afternoon were also held on the same day for those who wanted something softer.